According to the recent UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer, Africa consolidated last year’s robust results, led by Sub-Saharan Africa (+6%) while North Africa saw a 4% increase during the first quarter of 2018. International tourist arrivals also grew 6% in January to April 2018 compared to the same period last year. Results reflect a continuation of the strong trend seen in 2017 (+7%) and so far, exceed UNWTO’s forecast of 4% to 5% for the entire year 2018.
In 2017, Africa surpassed its counterparts to record a +9% increase in international arrivals, as international tourism receipts increased 5%. This equates to 63 million visitors to Africa, out of the 1,323 million world arrivals; accounting for USD 38 billion receipts.
Confidence in global tourism remains strong according to the latest UNWTO Panel of Travel Experts survey. The Panel’s outlook for the current May-August period is the most optimistic in a decade, led by the particularly upbeat sentiment in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Experts’ evaluation of tourism performance in the first four months of 2018 was also robust, in line with the strong results recorded in many destinations around the world.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism knowledge. It encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximize the contribution of tourism to socio-economic development, while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared towards eliminating poverty and fostering sustainable development and peace worldwide.
UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world.
UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 territories and over 500 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. Its headquarters are located in Madrid.